Tunnel from Mexico Discovered along with 17,292 pounds of MarijuanaPosted on October 31, 2013
An elaborate but simple way to smuggle narcotics into the United States has been dismantled. Officials discovered a nearly 600 yard tunnel leading to a building in the San Diego's Otay Mesa industrial park from a warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico.
Smugglers equipped the tunnel with lighting, a ventilation system and an electric rail system to make the tunnel extremely functional. Officials described this as being, "the largest, most sophisticated tunnel uncovered along the southern border in two years."
The investigation began with a traffic stop by the Chula Vista Police on a box truck that was under surveillance by investigators. The box truck was observed leaving the Otay Mesa building. A search of the vehicle revealed 3 tons of marijuana. The tuck was believed to be traveling to a second warehouse in Chula Vista.
Search warrants were executed at several locations. Officials found 2,100 pounds of marijuana was located at the Otay Mesa Facility. As investigators were about to execute a search warrant at the warehouse on Brandywine Ave, another box truck attempted to leave carrying several thousand pounds of marijuana. A total of 8,900 pounds were seized from the warehouse and box truck.
As part of the operation, San Diego Police stopped that van was observed leaving the Otay Mesa Facility. Officers discovered several hundred pounds of cocaine in the vehicle.
A total of 17,292 pounds of marijuana and 325 pounds of cocaine was seized as part of the ongoing tunnel operation. Officials have estimated the street value to be nearly $12 million.
Three subjects are now in federal custody pending charges.